SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity Reach Deal on Broadcasting and Livestreaming Stage Shows

Actors Equity will handle labor representation on stage show streaming through the end of 2021

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SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity announced on Thursday that they have reached an agreement on how the two acting unions will handle jurisdiction over broadcasting and streaming of stage shows, ending a dispute triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Actors Equity accused SAG-AFTRA of undermining its bargaining power by negotiating lower-paying deals with theaters for streaming productions at a time when such productions are the only means of income for many stage actors with theaters on Broadway and around the world being forced to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAG-AFTRA maintains that such productions have always been under their jurisdiction since they are produced for TV, movie theaters and streaming platforms.

As part of the deal, Actors Equity will handle jurisdiction of stage show streaming and broadcasting through the end of 2021. with existing SAG-AFTRA contracts still being honored. While a vaccine is expected to be administered starting next year, it is unclear when theaters on Broadway and in other cities will be able to open again. The two guilds agreed to meet no later than October 1 to determine based on the state of pandemic recovery whether Actors Equity’s jurisdiction period should be extended.

“We are pleased that we are able to help create work opportunities for AEA members when it is vitally needed, while also protecting SAG-AFTRA members’ work opportunities now and into the future,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White said in a statement.

The full eight-page agreement can be read here.

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